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A Look at Austria Passport Requirements

Michael Decker
Michael Decker

Genaan Abdelall

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An amendment to sec 58c of the Austrian Nationality Act, which came into effect on September 1, 2020 furthers reconciliation with descendants of victims of the Austrian Holocaust. Jews and non-Jews who left Austria between 1933 and 1955 following Nazi annexation of the country, and their direct descendants, including children who were adopted as minors, are eligible for an Austrian passport.

The law includes anyone born in Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Serbia or Slovenia who resided in Austria during that period. Additionally, the law expands eligibility to descendants of female Holocaust survivors, bringing them on par with counterparts of male Holocaust survivors, who’re already covered by the existing legislation.

Plan your route to Austrian citizenship

Last year, 84-year old Ben Zion Lapid became the first Jew to receive Austrian citizenship under the new law. If you wish to reconnect with your ancestral roots or leverage the benefits of a second passport that allows you to live, work, study, look for a job or retire in 27 member states of the European Union, you now have an excellent opportunity.

Technical questions on how to apply for Austrian citizenship and Austria passport requirements began pouring in ever since the new amendment went into effect. Our law offices have seen a growing interest among potentially eligible individuals from the United States and Israel.

Documents you must submit when petitioning to become a citizen of Austria

It’s keeping in mind that you can acquire Austrian citizenship without having to give up your Israeli passport. This is notable given the fact that, in most cases, Austria does not recognize dual citizenship.

Austria Passport RequirementsFor your petition to be successful, you must provide the necessary documents, and there are quite a few Austria passport requirements. You must provide proof of your own identity and of your ancestor being presented in Austria at the time:

  • Birth certificate
  • Valid passport
  • Proof of Austrian citizenship at the time of emigration, such as an Austrian or German passport, certificate of residency, certificate of exile, and so on.
  • Proof of acquisition of Israeli, American, or any other citizenship.
  • Proof of name change from a marriage / divorce certificate, military service, academic diploma, or any official document that proves connection to the country.
  • Proof of the date of emigration from Austria.
  • Signed citizenship request form, which includes the detailed life story of the family member who had Austrian citizenship in the past as well as their Holocaust survival story. You will also need to provide information related to army service, career, addresses, and other pertinent details.
  • Those documents that are not in German or English require notarized translation.

Important to note:

When completing your Austrian passport application, it is important to fill in the exact names, dates, places of birth and other details of your direct ancestor(s). This is so that Austrian authorities can find and verify the data in their registers and archives.

Some measure of research can be expected in gathering the names, dates of birth or residential addresses of your ancestor(s). This holds when applying for a second passport to an EU country, such as Portuguese citizenship for descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi Jews.

Some documents in languages other than German must be submitted with a German translation by a court translator. Additional documents may be requested. The process of checking documents and granting of citizenship is free of charge.

Our law offices can guide you on document submission and the nitty-gritty of obtaining an Austrian passport. We have considerable experience assisting individuals identify the right route to Austrian citizenship. If you don’t qualify under the new amendment, you may be eligible based on descent, naturalization, entitlement or award. We also handle emigration matters related to Portugal and Poland, so feel free to explore all your EU citizenship options with us.

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